CBD Blog

TrustCanna – The Global Standard in Consumer Cannabis Products


Introducing the sensible way forward for the consumer cannabis industry.

Industry concerns around compliancy, safety and misrepresentation are widespread. You may be aware of the most recent report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis that tested 30 CBD products in the UK. This has attracted considerable attention across the industry and the national media.

It has in fact confirmed what many of us have known for some time, that a large proportion of products on the market are not just unsafe and falsely represented, but many are also illegal which could result in sellers of such items facing a custodial sentence of up to 14 years.

Some may say it’s the Police and Trading Standards remit to address such issues, however in practice these departments do not have the resources or the knowledge to deal with these issues on such a scale.

While consumers are being misled and, in some instances facing criminal prosecutions for even purchasing some of these products, there is irrevocable damage being caused to the industry.

The biggest losers are those within the industry that operate compliantly. It must be understood that this is your industry and the only sensible way forward is an industry led proactive approach towards harmonised compliance.

Going back 4 years, the industry as small as it was, while making some fundamental errors surrounding medicinal claims at the time, was an industry that you could be confident that you were getting what you paid for. The ethical nature of the businesses that were involved at the time is something that should be recognised as a milestone the industry could reach again someday. But those early days when we could literally fit the directors of all the CBD companies around a board table are long gone and as competition has increased, unfortunately so has bad practice.

Today while we see the required standards being met by members of trade associations like the Cannabis Trade Association (CTA), the CTA can only do so much, even with the ultimate threat of the compliance team suspending members who do not comply with the basic requirements of not presenting products as medicines. 

There is little these trade associations can do about the rest of the industry who continue to act non-compliantly. They have little or no regard for the consumer and have no issue with defrauding consumers when it comes to the way they present and sell their CBD.

You may think that claims of fraud by companies in this industry is an excessive statement to make. But fraud is by definition, “wrongful deception that results in financial gain”. Anyone that purchases a product that contain less than 50% of the advertised CBD is being defrauded.

While this may be a generalisation that may feel unjust, you only have to look at eBay or Amazon these days to understand the magnitude of the problem the industry faces. The amount of money exchanging hands on just these 2 sales channels is a significant proportion of the £300 million the industry is estimated to be generating annually. We are talking millions upon millions of pounds in revenues across a range of generally non-compliant, unsafe, illegal and fraudulent product.

Every sale that goes to one of these companies who are pushing a “too good to be true” 5000mg for £9.99, is a sale that your company could be making. These are losses you are realising everyday as a result of bad practice and unlawful activity in the industry, while you spend time, money and a whole lot of love ensuring you do everything by the book.

There is a real problem that needs addressing in the industry and it’s one that the likes of Trading Standards just do not have the resources to deal with.

While the compliant companies in the industry are well aware of these fraudulent products, what is needed and is the only solution to this problem moving forwards, is a certification benchmark of standards that consumers can use to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Consumers need a mark of trust, a mark of quality, legitimacy, lawfulness and compliance.

Introducing TrustCanna

TrustCanna is a Cannabis Product certification process that certifies that a product is safe, legal and as described. TrustCanna aims to provide consumers with a single register of all products that will enable them to make informed purchasing decisions from safe ethical suppliers of cannabis products.
From farmers, to producers, manufacturers and resellers, any business in the supply chain can register and TrustCanna certify their products as compliant.

How TrustCanna is the Solution TrustCanna is fundamentally a mark that consumers can use to make an informed decision about their purchase. The register of certified products and the TrustCanna seal has evolved out of the Cannabis Products Directive which was a concept proposed to the CTA by the MHRA in 2018. Through consultation with various regulatory authorities, including the FSA, Trading Standards, EFSA and CTPA, it has evolved into the framework we see today. How it Benefits the Consumer With a recent report showing half of CBD products contain less than 50% of the advertised CBD, many are illegal and some contain unsafe substances. 

The TrustCanna certification seal enables the consumer to make an informed decision about their CBD purchase with the confidence that:
  • The product is as described
  • The product is safe
  • The product is legal
  • The product is compliant

How it Benefits the Supplier

TrustCanna benefits the suppliers as they can demonstrate through an independent certification process that their products meet the required standards. When competing with non-compliant sellers in the marketplace it can be impossible to price match suppliers that have less than half the advertised CBD in their products. Compliant suppliers are losing business every day to companies that continue to defraud the consumer with false and misleading claims about their CBD products.

All suppliers should already be meeting these standards, it is the perfect opportunity to audit your commercial operation and identify and rectify areas of compliance you may not have been aware of or have missed.

It will see an end to the unfair competitive advantage non compliant sellers have.
It is a mark of excellence that demonstrates the compliance of your products.
It ratifies that your commercial lawful obligations are being met.
It gives you the distinction of being one of the 1st in the Industry to meet the required standards.
It will promote your business and products within the official launch and marketing.

How it Benefits the Industry

The threat of legislative change that could cause irrevocable damage and the possible demise of the industry is one that should be taken seriously. While there is no evidence to suggest that CBD is unsafe, the trigger for a regulatory shift would be the point where public safety was to be called into question.

While the compound may be safe, the bad practice by non-compliant companies could be this trigger. The blossoming industry and the large revenues are attracting bad practice that is unseen across the industries we operate within. As companies battle for market share their disregard for compliance increases resulting in an industry that includes a disproportionately high amount of unsafe and non-compliant product.

Unless an industry led adoption of good practice is forthcoming, the current regulatory departments that are under resourced, would not have the ability to address issue on this scale. This is when laws are created and industries are shut down.

The TrustCanna model was proposed by government regulators, has been consulted upon with the competent authorities and is intended to be passed to government once a working model can be demonstrated.

Our opportunity is now, to protect our Industry. We must seize the moment because opportunities like this only come once.

The Certification of TrustCanna Products Covers:

The Certification of TrustCanna Products Covers:

CBD Content

The correct amount of CBD advertised is in your CBD product.


The THC levels are non-detectable and would be defined as an exempt product under the MDR 2001.


Your CBD supplier is registered with their local authority as a food business operator.
Ensures that the product they sell is safe for consumption.
Ensures that the ingredients used in the CBD product are purchased from reputable suppliers.
Ensures that the CBD supplier has traceability records. They must be able to identify businesses they have bought food or ingredients from, or sold them to.
Ensures that the CBD product is labelled correctly.
Ensures that the CBD products are not harmful to the customer.

Are as described

CBD products must ensure that any health claims (e.g. ‘maintains healthy cholesterol levels’ or ‘maintains your health’) on CBD products complies with relevant legislation (Nutrition and Health Claims Regulations (England) 2007).

Are not presented as medicines

CBD products must not make any direct or implied medical claims.

The Launch of TrustCanna From September 2019 you will see products carrying the TrustCanna seal and product authorisation number. 

With this number you can verify that a product is certified, meets the required standards, is safe and as described. The official launch of the TrustCanna framework will be at the Hemp & CBD Expo at NEC Birmingham on 14th September 2019 on which date the TrustCanna certification portal will be online. You can also pre-register your interest at TrustCanna.org

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